Gah, I'm turning into a secret extended breastfeeder

(55 Posts)
coldcupoftea Fri 25-Jan-13 21:49:07

DD2 is 2.7 and still breastfeeding- recently I'm realising more and more that actually I enjoy it, I genuinely don't care how long it goes on for, it is a lovely feeling to give DD the one thing that totally gives her comfort and relaxes her.

So how come I feel embarrassed to mention it to people (and never really do) , if close friends ask 'you're not still feeding her are you??" in an incredulous voice I usually come over all sheepish and say something like "well yeah, I know, but it's only at bedtime and we're going to stop soon..." and quickly change the subject.

DH really wants me to stop ( apart from when she occasionally wakes up in the night, in which case he's kicking me out of bed to go and feed her). He keeps telling her things like "mummy's milk is going to stop soon, you're a big girl".

I never thought I'd end up BF an older child, but she loves it so much I can't see her stopping anytime soon.

And why should she stop?? And how come I'm feeling all this pressure that I shouldn't be doing it anymore? She is happy, healthy, bright, just a normal lovely little girl. It is the one thing that gives her comfort when she is sad or tired. She's never had a dummy, or a favourite teddy, just mummy. I think it's cute that she asks for 'milky' (though I cringe when she says it in front of anyone else). I think it's a bit sad that she has realised it isn't something we do in public, and she usually only asks for it at home, when we are alone.

No reason for this post other than the fact I can't talk to anyone in real life about this- even my most 'hardcore' breastfeeding friends stopped by 18 months. And I'm feeling a bit crap because DH wants me to stop.

hellymelly Mon 28-Jan-13 23:24:42

I agree Zappo! also you can ask them to latch on differently if it isn't comfortable, its very nice to be able to chat with your baby about it.

Spiritedwolf Tue 29-Jan-13 15:03:11

What a beautiful thread. I'm feeding DS who is just coming up to six months, and intend to do so till he self weans. With family, I've been gently managing their expectations:

<younger childless sibling>how long will you bfeed him for?
<me>well babies can still have milk feeds for quite a while <turn to older sister who mix fed till 7 months> DNephew still has his milk morning and night doesn't he.
<older sis> yes he still gets bottles then, the hv says to get him used to a cup, but its his one little comfort and I don't see any harm in it -we brush his teeth afterwards.

DNephew is over a year, so I think this at least sets a precedant in the family of milk as a comfort beyond infancy. smile

DH in particular knows my intentions and is very supportive. I think he probably still has an idea that school age would be 'too old' but he knows that if he's ever concerned about bfing, that we're to talk about it, he's not to undermine DS. I sometimes read out bits of threads from here as talking points!

As for the 'too old' thing... I think that is wooly thinking that needs pulling apart. It wouldn't be too old to drink cow's milk (unless you're vegans!) would it? Everyone reckons milk is nutrious. And it wouldn't be too old for a comforting hug, would it? So it's not about the child being too old for milk or comfort at all. It's something else (probably related to the way the media sees women's bodies).

Of course toddlers/children give up breastfeeding as they grow up, but you can't force them to grow up faster or better by making them give it up sooner. It doesn't work like that. If its fulfilling a need then that need will still be there and has to be met in other ways (as a mum who initiates weaning has to do/help her child find). You can't make someone less needy/more independent, only they can grow out of the need.

Our society seems obsessed with the idea that you make kids grow up by forcing them to be independent. Its so unnecessary and backward - they become independant by growing up, whether we're ready for it or not! grin

PartTimeModel Tue 29-Jan-13 15:06:44

I stopped BF DD2 recently at 19months.
We are both really missing it, though I do totally love that she sleeps through the night now.

Beamur Tue 29-Jan-13 15:16:57

I was ambivalent about bf at all so surprised myself by bf until DD was about 2.5, she would have liked to continue but I had had enough by then. She was quite wistful and sad for a while and we did still have the occasional feed for a few weeks afterwards. She remembered it for a while but has now forgotten what it was actually like.
I think I was a discrete extended feeder rather than secret - but I live in an area where bf is quite normal, although I think some people are uncomfortable with it.
I'm glad we did it though, she is a healthy happy little girl and we are very close.
DD slept through from about 14 months, it would have been sooner if she'd been in her own room - the sleeping through co-incided with being put in her own room. I used it as an opportunity to night wean as I really needed more sleep than I was getting.

SpiritedWolf I loved your post! I'm still feeding DS who'll be three this month. We still co-sleep too, if he wants to, but often these days, he doesn't. They all grow up and leave home eventually. grin

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